Abertis sweeps up stakes in Chilean highways

The world’s largest toll road operator is now in full control of Autopista del Sol and Autopista Los Libertadores.

Through its in-country subsidiary, Abertis Autopistas Chile, Barcelona-based developer Abertis has closed negotiations with Fondo de Inversion Publico Penta Las Americas Infraestructura I and II to acquire the remaining 50 percent stake it did not already own in Autopista del Sol and Autopista Los Libertadores, two Chilean toll road projects.

With a price tag of CLP$93.53 billion (€127.40 million; $141.03 million), Abertis now holds a 100 percent ownership stake in Infraestructura Dos Mil, the parent company of both highway concessions. It initially acquired a stake in the company in 2012.

The move was made in order to demonstrate Abertis's strong internal commitment to “consolidate its industry leadership role in projects in which it participates” and “illustrates its ability to grow its asset base at attractive terms”, the company said in a statement.

Autopista del Sol is a 133-kilometre highway linking the capital city of Santiago de Chile with the port of San Antonio. The project was initiated in September 1995 and put into service in June 2001. 

The 116-kilometre Autopista Los Libertadores connects the capital with the major cities north of the Santiago metropolitan region. It was initiated in August 1997, and opened to traffic in December 2001. 

The concessions contracts for Autopistas del Sol and Los Libertadores expire in 2019 and 2026, respectively. They contributed an EBIDTA of €62 million to Abertis's earnings in 2014, according to the company.  

With six high-capacity roads totalling more than 770 kilometres, Abertis is the largest toll road operator in terms of EBITDA in Chile. The country, which produces about 4 percent of the group's annual revenue, is Abertis's fourth-largest market.